Girls tennis team hopeful for a successful season


@TennisMaverick on Twitter

The girls putting up windscreens on the courts in preparation for their season.

Sadie Guffy, Assistant Managing Editor

As the last piles of snow melted away, the girls tennis team was out on the courts putting up the windscreens in preparation for their season. The girls could not be more excited for their season to begin after spring sports were canceled last year due to COVID-19 safety measures. This was a large disappointment for the girls, especially the seniors, who missed out on their last season. This year, Milford girls are coming back swinging with high expectations and determination.

Seniors Grace Sarafa and Julia Salvati along with Sophomore Caroline Colt are all optimistic about their upcoming season. “I am really excited to play on a high school team and I cannot wait to meet so many nice people,” Colt exclaimed. “This is the first experience for me being on a team for tennis, so I am really excited to be in that atmosphere!” Sarafa is entering her final season of tennis after being a crucial part of the team for her entire high school career. “I am so excited to become closer with all the girls and to get outside, have fun, and get better at the sport every single day,” she stated. A positive attitude is going to be the driving force of this season. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities to compete, the friendships, and beautiful weather in the coming months,” Salvati exclaimed. Coach Rich Kynast is also optimistic about the upcoming season. “I’m super excited to see how we look in March compared to how we look at the end of the season in May,” he added. Since the team missed out on a season of development, it is both daunting and exciting to get back out on the courts.

With the excitement of the commencement of spring sports, come COVID-19 restrictions. Due to the outdoor nature of the sport, very few aspects of the game that the girls know and love will be affected. However, they are experiencing an upsetting loss to their matches. “Unfortunately, not as many people will be able to come to the matches, and we have to social distance and wear masks for the majority of the time,” Colt explained. Spectators help to bring extra life to the tennis matches and help encourage players to do their best. “Having more than just family members allowed as spectators would be a huge bonus because having that extra support during a match is very impactful,” Sarafa stated. As vaccine rollout in the United States continues, there is hope that the number of spectators allowed at tennis matches will increase.

A brand new season of tennis brings along many goals that are waiting to be fulfilled, especially for Sarafa. “My goal is to try and make up for that lost time,” she said. “I hope to help bring back the supportive and inclusive culture of the team that was there before. I’m so grateful to be back on the courts. This year, I want this team to finish near the top of our league and to beat Lakeland of course.” Personally, I want to have a really strong spin serve and to improve upon my volleying game. I also hope to become more consistent and confident in my abilities.” It is clear that the competitive nature of the team is not a quality that has been lost in the midst of the pandemic.

Behind a great team are the leaders. This year, Sarafa is the team captain after four years on the varsity team. “I know Grace Sarafa will be a big part in leading our team, as well as a few other really capable juniors and seniors. These girls bring qualities like perseverance, friendliness, and they will go out of their way to do anything for others on the team,” Colt stated. “Devin [Chaldecott] and Grace have been on the varsity team since freshman year, so I think both of them as well as the remainder of the senior class will work really well together,” Salvati added. Though Colt is only a sophomore, she is known to be a very capable tennis player among the girls. “Caroline is going to be such an asset to this team. She is strong, experienced, and most definitely competition-ready,” Sarafa stated. “Although Caroline is a sophomore I look up to her immensely. From just a few times I have gotten to play tennis with Caroline I know that she pushes me to be an all-around better tennis player and she will continue to do the same for the rest of the team as well,” she continued. Everyone on the team is very excited to develop their skills and see who has improved in their time away from high school tennis. “Grace McBride has some fairly advanced tennis skills and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop as a player,” Kynast stated. “I’m sure there are many others, but it’s hard to tell because we missed a whole season of development for some kids,” he continued. This team possesses a very strong work ethic and bond that will earn them immense success in their upcoming season.

The girl’s tennis team is among all of the high school spring sports teams that are eager to make up for the lost time. It is clear that these girls think highly of each other, which is a quality that will bring them together and help them improve.. There are many great assets to the team and it is intriguing to see where the encouragement from fellow teammates will propel the team this upcoming season.

The girls practicing on their brand new courts. The season begins after spring break. (@TennisMaverick on Twitter)